New requirements would be set for PBMs under Tillis bill

Bipartisan legislation recently introduced by U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) aims to help America’s senior citizens get the best prescription drug prices under their Medicare Part D plans by setting new requirements for pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs).

“I’m proud to work on a bipartisan basis to expand access to affordable prescription drugs by increasing transparency, accountability, and competition” among PBMs, said Sen. Tillis, who signed on as the lead original cosponsor of the Medicare PBM Accountability Act, S. 2254.

Sponsored by U.S. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), S. 2254 would require PBMs to disclose their practices for increasing prices and costs for the nearly 50 million Americans enrolled in Medicare Part D drug plans, according to a bill summary provided by the lawmakers.

“I’ve consistently supported efforts to increase transparency across all aspects of the pharmaceutical supply chain, from manufacturers to the pharmacy counter,” Sen. Tillis said on July 13. “The opaqueness of the supply chain has resulted in artificially high prescription drug prices at the expense of seniors and taxpayers.”

S. 2254 would establish new requirements for PBMs to submit annual reports to Medicare drug plans that provide price negotiations and rebate information impacting what seniors pay in premiums and copays to help Medicare drug plans select PBM services that best serve the needs of beneficiaries, the summary says.

“Massive companies shouldn’t be able to raise prescription drug prices on our seniors and then skim off the top,” said Sen. Cortez Masto. “Congress must require these companies to disclose their clear conflicts of interest, and I look forward to working on this bipartisan legislation to help us bring down health care costs for seniors in Nevada and across the country.” 

The legislation is slated to be marked up by the U.S. Senate Finance Committee on July 26 as part of a package focused on addressing PBM practices.